Along the Gold Coast of Lake Zurich, individual localities have lost a clear sense of identity amongst the continuity of the suburban landscape. Generic architecture determines the immediate context of any remaining open spaces, land reserves from former agricultural zones, which create a welcome pause in this otherwise monotonous rhythm. A simple meadow space visibly benefits the densely packed rows of single-family home urbanization. In general, gardens comprise the leftover spaces in between individual houses, executed with varying degrees of success. All in all, they represent that which remains behind after a house has been constructed – nothing more.
Our intervention takes a different stance, creating a place with clear boundaries. A perimeter exists through walls and hedges: externally territorial and hard, internally a soft, private green space. The house reflects this relationship between the inside and the outside.
Two new private outdoor spaces are created – an entry court and a garden court. In between is the part of the house with the main entrance and a garden apartment. A stair leads to the floor above with a terrace and view to the open space of the adjacent lot, with the lake and the mountains in the distance. Positioned around the centrally located kitchen are the dining room as well as the atelier-like, double-height living room lit from the northeast. All of the rooms directly access the terrace and a stair leads down to the garden courtyard. A studio with a gallery to the living room is located on the floor above these common spaces. The east-facing master bedroom works as a unit with the bathroom, dressing room, and an office space; it is like an autonomous suite interposed into the residence.
The straight lines of rough-faced, board-formed concrete walls and large, suspended, floor-to-ceiling fenestration characterizes the exterior appearance. Only a protruding window on the northern side with a solid concrete frame reveals the actual scale and size of the house. Otherwise, the house remains muted and focused compared to the garrulousness of its surroundings.
Realization: 2012 – 2014
Piet Eckert, Wim Eckert with Sebastian F. Lippok and Mireya Sanchez Gomez, Laure Fries, Kirstyn Lindsay, Alexander Struck, Rafal Wójcik
Construction Management: Continium Baumanagement AG, Horgen
Structural Engineering: Gruner + Wepf Ingenieure AG, Zurich
Façade Planning: Buri Müller Partner GmbH, Burgdorf
Building Services: W&P Engineering AG, Stansstad
Photographs: Rasmus Norlander, Zurich
Model Photographs: Jon Naiman, Biel